March 21, 2009: Khamenei slams Obama Nowruz message. In what can only be called a slap in the face, Ayatollah Khamenei, the "Supreme Leader" of the Islamic Republic, rejected President *Obama's Nowruz message of "friendship" toward the Islamic Republic of Iran leaders, saying that Obama has "insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day." Perhaps thinking that words of hope and change would resonate with Iran's ruling clerics, Obama said he wanted to "speak directly to the leaders and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran." But as Iranian pro-democracy activist ** Mani Aryamand noted, "the people of Iran are called just that. There is no such thing as people of [the] Islamic republic of Iran."
Obama's evocation of the pre-Islamic festival of Nowruz as embdoying a cherished tradition of the ruling clerics demonstrates a pitiful ignorance of recent Iranian history, since Islamic Republic leaders tried to absolish Nowruz after seizing power in 1979 and have only allowed its continued celebration because they were incapable of preventing it. In our view, rather than offering concession after concession to a bloodthirsty leadership that has shown no inclination to negotiate over anything it considers essential, the president would have better served America's interests by demonstrating the natural affinities between America and the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom.
The Islamic Republic leaders demonstrated their commitment to freedom on March 19, when they murdered 29-year old blogger *** Omid Mirsayafi in Evin prison. Mirsayafi was sentenced to 30 months in jail last month for "insulting" Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The regime claim he commited suicide.
As can be expected, the regime's chief apologist in America, **** Trita Parsi, welcomed Obama's Nowruz speech , calling it "unprecedented, extremely positive." In fact, President Bush regularly issued Nowruz greetings, which he addressed to the Iranian people, so the notion that a U.S. president would do such a thing has a significant precedent, which Obama ignored.
Source. Foundation for democracy In Iran